Camilla James is the founder of the Saltwater Collective, which creates made-in-Canada bikinis and one-piece bathing suits using a sustainable fabric.
James, who moved to Toronto from her native Vancouver last year to grow her business, wanted women to not just to feel good in their swimwear but about it too. In researching and sourcing materials, she discovered an Italian textile manufacturer called Aquafil S.p.A.
That company collects nylon waste from all over the world through various projects, including Healthy Seas—a “waste to wear initiative” in which volunteer divers recover abandoned or lost ghost fishing nets from the bottom of the seas in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, and Croatia.
Net-Works is another one. The social venture that empowers coastal communities in the Philippines and Cameroon to collect and sell discarded fishing nets, solutions that help deliver “less plastic and more fish” in the ocean.
Aquafil S.p.A. also sources waste from industrial plastic, yard discards, fabric scraps (including a take-back program with Speedo USA) and the fluff of the upper portion of old, spent nylon carpets.
A purification process called depolymerization enables the waste material to be cleaned and restored to virgin quality. The raw material, called Econyl, is transformed into textiles and other materials.
In celebration of Earth Day, the Saltwater Collective is teaming up with Vancouver’s Brunette the Label for a Sip & Shop event on Thursday (April 19) from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Brunette flagship store in Chinatown (231 Union Street). People will be able to check out the sustainable swimwear and Brunette’s 2018 spring collection with bubbly in hand.
The Brunette the Label x the Saltwater Collective pop-up will continue at the shop from Friday to Sunday (April 20 to 22).